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South Sudan + 4 others
Aid effort to avert South Sudan famine in jeopardy: Aid agencies face closure of projects as money fails to arrive

A group of seven major international aid agencies said they face a shortfall of $89 million as the South Sudan humanitarian crisis edges closer to the risk of famine.

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IRC responds to deadly yellow fever outbreak in Uganda

By Peter Biro

05 Jan 2011 - The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is responding to a rare outbreak of yellow fever which has so far claimed almost 50 lives in northern Uganda.

To help curb the spread of the disease and treat those already infected, the IRC is training Ugandan health workers and community volunteers in the northern districts of Kitgum and Lamwo to detect, refer and treat the disease and is providing drugs, disinfectants, and protective gear including gloves and masks.

The IRC will also assist in a government

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CAR: "We want to start living again"

Posted by Peter Biro on July 14th, 2010

Prospèr Honagali's plight encapsulates the tragedy of his country. The 50-year-old priest from the Central African Republic lost half of his family -- 15 people -- between 2007 and 2009. Their lives were claimed by violent crime, political conflict and disease, all of which are rampant in this war-torn and deeply impoverished African country.

"Two of my relatives died in attacks by the Zaraguinas," Honagali said, referring to marauding criminal gangs who have taken advantage of the country's political chaos to pillage

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International Rescue Committee Reopens Nine Health Centers in Northern Uganda

Kampala 28 Apr 2010 -


- The IRC has renovated and expanded nine health facilities in two districts of northern Uganda and handed them over to local health officials this week.

- Protracted conflict in northern Uganda decimated the healthcare system. The renovated centers will meet the health needs of tens of thousands of people returning home to their villages after years in displacement camps.

- TO HELP: Buy a medical kit, a maternal clinic or another lifesaving gift at the IRC Store

The International Rescue Committee has

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Burundi + 8 others
Hidden and exposed: Urban refugees in Nairobi, Kenya

Executive Summary

The traditional image of life in tented, sprawling camps no longer tells the full refugee story. As the world urbanises, refugees too are increasingly moving to built up areas - including large towns and cities. Today, almost half of the world's 10.5 million refugees reside in urban areas, with only one-third in camps (UNHCR, 2009). Refugees move to the city in the hope of finding a sense of community, safety and economic independence. However, in reality, what many actually find is harassment, physical assault and poverty. Yet there has been scant research

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On International Women's Day: Reducing violence against women in northeast Uganda

08 Mar 2010 - In the first few months of 2010, violence has escalated in Karamoja - a remote, rural and marginalized area of northeast Uganda - and security is increasingly unpredictable. Each week brings news of clashes involving rival clans, armed bandits and government soldiers. But what is not reported is how women in particular suffer from such violence.

Rape is a tactic often used by Karamojong warriors in the course of cattle raids and retaliations. If women fall in the path of such raiders while walking to gather firewood or fetch water, they may be assaulted repeatedly.

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IRC Increases Efforts to Reduce Child Labor in Northern Uganda

Kampala. March 5, 2010 - The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is building on initial success to reduce child labor in northern Uganda by launching a new program to further tackle the underlying poverty that forces many families to send their children out to work.

The IRC will work closely with district authorities in Kitgum to create 60 new village savings and loans associations (VSLAs), which allow poor families to access financial advice and loans at very low interest rates - thereby increasing their economic independence.

"The former protracted civil war

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Sudan + 1 other
Rescuing the Peace in Southern Sudan

The next 12 months will be critical for the future of Sudan. As the country marks the fifth anniversary of the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a devastating civil war, southern Sudan has seen a major upsurge in violence. In 2009, some 2,500 people were killed and 350,000 fled their homes. With landmark elections and a referendum on the horizon, the peace deal is fragile and the violence likely to escalate even further unless there is urgent international engagement.

Southern Sudan is one of the least-developed

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Uganda: A night on the hotline [16 Days]

Posted by Joanne Offer on December 1st, 2009

2009 marks the 18th anniversary of the "16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence" campaign.

It's 2 am when Apio Agnes' mobile phone rings. She's suddenly awake and ready to go.

It's her night to answer calls to a 24-hour hotline dedicated to anyone who needs advice or support on rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment or other forms of gender-based violence. The hotline gives victims and potential targets of violence the chance to talk to a trained professional in confidence.

"I've received calls late in the

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Uganda: Going to school for the first time

by Joanne Offer

Joanne Offer recently traveled to northern Uganda, once the scene of one of the bloodiest civil wars in Africa. Today, the IRC is helping hundreds of children and former child laborers go to school for the first time.

My visit to Uganda coincides with a time that many children dread-the start of the new school year. Yet as I travel from school to school, I can see that for the children here things are different

"Before I was able to come to school, I was fetching water for money," said 12-year-old Lakot Cavine. "It

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On International Day of Peace, International Rescue Committee calls for bolstering of peace-building efforts in northeastern Uganda

Kampala, Uganda- More engagement and funding is needed to support conflict-prevention initiatives in northeastern Uganda - a region historically wracked by violent raids - at a time when severe drought and increased banditry pose a challenge to the area's fragile stability, says the International Rescue Committee, (IRC).

"In the past, large-scale cattle-raiding has been part and parcel of the culture in Karamoja," says IRC conflict expert Abongi Patrick. "Groups of 50 or more men would launch vicious attacks on rival clans, stealing thousands of heads of cattle and killing

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As the world marks the 2009 Day Against Child Labor, Uganda needs to do more to tackle its serious problem

Friday 12th June, Kampala, Uganda - With the World Day Against Child Labor upon us on 12th June, a newly published survey shows that 15% of children in north and northeast Uganda are involved in harsh, dangerous labor - often putting them in harm's way and depriving them of the chance to go to school.

The survey, commissioned by two aid agencies - the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and AVSI Foundation- found that an additional 26% of children are 'at risk' of becoming child laborers.

"Every day, tens of thousands of

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Uganda + 3 others
US: Pass bill to protect Ugandan civilians

(Washington, DC, May 21, 2009) - The introduction of legislation in the US Senate and House of Representatives earlier this week to commit the United States to comprehensive efforts to help civilians threatened by one of the world's longest-running and brutal insurgencies is a crucial step forward for US policy in the region, a coalition of 22 human rights, humanitarian, and faith-based groups said today.

If passed, the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act would require the Obama Administration

Human Rights Watch:

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Etats-Unis : Le Congrès devrait adopter un projet de loi visant à protéger les civils

L'adoption de la loi permettrait d'aider les victimes de l'Armée de Résistance du Seigneur

(Washington, DC) - Le nouveau projet de loi présenté devant le Congrès américain et visant un renforcement des efforts pour aider les civils menacés par l'une des insurrections les plus longues et les plus brutales au monde constitue une avancée cruciale pour la politique américaine dans la région, a déclaré aujourd'hui une coalition de vingt-deux associations des droits humains, humanitaires et basées sur la foi.

Si elle venait à être adoptée, la loi

Human Rights Watch:

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An evening under the stars in rural Uganda

Michael Scharff

Most nights here, the pitch-black darkness sends people scurrying for the safety of nearby camps. As recently as two years ago, Mucwini, a camp for displaced people in Kitgum district in the far reaches of northern Uganda, was under 24-hour military protection from rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The rebels had waged a brutal 20-year war in northern Uganda before signing a ceasefire with the government in 2006.

Tonight, instead of heading home, the residents of Mucwini camp are gathering in front of the health center to

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Uganda: Gregory Acar's story: They were trying to break us

By Peter Biro

Kampala, Uganda 20 Jan 2009 - Gregory Acar's ordeal began on the morning of March 23, 1989. Armed soldiers from the dreaded rebel group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) stormed into his classroom in northern Uganda and ordered everyone to stand up.

"I was only 17, but I remember it as if it were yesterday," says Acar, who is now 36 and works for the International Rescue Committee as an education specialist. "We were tied with ropes around the waist and linked to each other. Then we were given two minutes to pack our belongings and leave."

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Uganda: Not your average farmers' market

Kitgum, Uganda 19 Dec 2008 - Komakech Yp's broad grin is a new addition to his demeanor; in recent decades, he's had little to smile about. Yp was forced to flee his home and farm to escape intense fighting between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of Uganda. The only life he had ever known was taken from him. He spent years in a crowded camp, no land to farm, no way to feed his family.

Today, Yp has reason to be optimistic. With the signing of a ceasefire between the LRA and the government in 2006,

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Long-term approach needed to combat Hepatitis E in Northern Uganda

It's almost one year since the first case of Hepatitis E was reported in Kitgum District, northern Uganda - a disease that has since infected more than 7,100 people and killed at least 110. Despite aggressive emergency interventions over the past 11 months, the outbreak has yet to be eradicated and its elimination will only be achieved with comprehensive, long-term investment in essential services, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Shaun O'Donnell, the IRC's country director in Uganda, explains: "Hepatitis E is a virus that's often transmitted

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Sudan + 1 other
Refugees no more - south Sudanese return to their homes

By Thomas Bohnett

14 Apr 2008 - Forced to flee during Africa's longest-running civil war, the Sudanese refugees living in International Rescue Committee-supported settlements in northern Uganda have spent as long as twenty years outside of their homeland. Their time in exile has not been peaceful - the Uganda to which the refugees fled has itself been wracked by war and unrest for nearly the same period of time, and as refugees they have faced frequent dislocation, movement, and uncertainty.

Repatriation became a possibility in

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Sudan + 1 other
IRC helps Sudanese refugees return home from Uganda

During the last four months, over 5,500 Sudanese refugees have voluntarily returned to their villages in Sudan's southern East Equatoria state from IRC-supported camps in Uganda. To assist the returns, International Rescue Committee teams have prepared departure sites, conducted pre-departure medical screenings and provided refugees with food for the journey.

Repatriation became a possibility in 2005, when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Army, ending Africa's longest-running civil war.